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Gonorrhea Is Not The New AIDS

gonorrhea.jpgThe LGBT blog Queerty wrote this attention-grabbing headline in response to recent news about gonorrhea: "Super Bug: Is Gonorrhea the New AIDS?"

The post by Dan Avery is the result of new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to health care providers on how to treat gonorrhea.
Here's an excerpt from the POZ Treatment News article about the new guidelines:

"The CDC notes that gonorrhea has developed resistance to every antibiotic recommended for treatment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium responsible for gonorrhea, leaving only a class of drugs called the cephalosporins, which include Suprax (cefixime) and Rocephin. In turn, the recommended first-line therapy for gonorrhea has been Suprax, an oral antibiotic, combined with either Zithromax (azithromycin) or doxycycline.

"Now the CDC is concerned about an uptick in laboratory data showing that Suprax is becoming less effective in treating N. gonorrhoeae. Continued use of the drug, the agency worries, may prompt the bacterium to develop resistance to all cephalosporins. The CDC is therefore recommending that Suprax no longer be prescribed and Rocephin--which needs to be administered by a health care provider--used in its place, along with either Zithromax or doxycycline."

Just by issuing these new guidelines, it's clear that the CDC is worried. Which then prompts the question: How worried should we be?

I can't put an exact measure on it, but I feel safe in saying that this should provide motivation for those who have become weary of safer sex, particularly condom use.

If untreated, gonorrhea can spread to the blood or joints, which can be life threatening. And gonorrhea can make it easier to both give and get HIV.

As Avery points out in his post:

"If there's a takeaway from the CDC pulling the alarm bell, its that we have to remember that AIDS is not the only sexually-transmitted infection out there."
Agreed (except that "HIV" would have been more accurate). And although their headline set us up expecting the answer to be yes, Queerty made it clear the answer was no, gonorrhea is not the new AIDS.

Scaring people unnecessarily doesn't help in the long run with prevention efforts, which is why I chose the headline I did for this post. That said, I plan on keeping a close eye on how this story develops.

Oriol on:


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Comments on Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.'s blog entry "Gonorrhea Is Not The New AIDS"

might want to do a bit more research... since Gonorrhoea was made aware about 2 years ago in the scientific community and sti prevention workers. (it started in japan So now there are new guidelines and research is underway.

Same goes for other countries around the world.

see link for more info

Avery's brand of HIV "advocacy" can make William F. Buckley sound downright generous. The fact is though that for some people who will suffer complications, HIV ain't the only game in town. Hepatitis is still fatal, but most gay men dont think twice about it. Syph can be nasty too, and I've heard some horror stories about what the plan is to treat the clap in the absence of antibiotics that make AZT monotherapy sound generous. Meanwhile, poz people have been maligned partly because our disease has been embraced as THE disease to fear. Consequently, both sides of the viral divide are worse for an AIDS centric sexual health policy. Maybe it would do poz and neg alike well to admit that "healthy" is more nuanced than the results of an HIV test.

Very interesting post! Hopefully scientists will find a way to get all of these diseases under control one day.

Although I am in my late 40s now, I have always been amazed that although undetectable vl for 12 years i have been considered "unclean" for all 12 years by gay men when i disclose.

But lately I ask what are they asking> Positive for what? Clean with WHAT STD? (I have no sex so it is easier for me to be sane i guess, but I also have healthcare that pays for regular STD tests), well that takes the wind out of their sails but maybe I will find a serious non addict nor in denial man one day that is fun too. But geez those gays not being responsible again is too much decade by decade.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. published on August 10, 2012 2:19 PM.

Preacher Wants 100,000 Ex-Gays to Cure AIDS was the previous entry in this blog.

HIV Stigma Among Gay Men is the next entry in this blog.

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